Travel Diaries: Orlando 2014 - Islands of Adventure5/24/2015 12:00:00 PM
I just realized lately that I haven't even finished my Orlando travel diaries from July last year! I'm so sorry for putting this all off. I'm resurrecting this series now before they celebrate their 1 year anniversary in a few months as of writing this, lol.
For the second to the last post of the lovely 2-week vacation we had last July 2014 (which I incredibly miss since seeing these photos again), we revisited the Islands of Adventure theme park once again! Back in 2012, we only got to visit this and Universal Studios since we only had a week to spend in Orlando. Back then they were only probably conceptualizing Diagon Alley (which you can read my experience here). So everyone was hanging out here instead! My family usually gets the park-to-park ticket so we can spend a day or two (or as many days as we can) crossing one park to the other. If you just wanna spend time in a specific park though, you can purchase a single-park entry ticket instead. Hotels and resorts around the area may have special offers to give, but you can still buy tickets in the park yourself.
Universal Studios isn't complete without the City Walk. Here you can find movie houses, shops, restos, and of course, Hard Rock Cafe. My family usually visits certain branches of this establishment whenever we travel. Their merchandise is pretty awesome, and their food is superb. If you're lucky, bands and singers get to perform here while you wine and dine.
There's also the NBA City Restaurant which is similar to Hard Rock Cafe. We didn't go inside this time, but we did the last time we were here. You can find a lot of basketball jerseys, shoes, and snapback caps in this place.
Let the adventure begin!
First stop: Marvel Superhero Island! Every comic book lover would enjoy this place, for reals. Thrilling rides, cool merchandise, and if you time your trip right, you can even meet some superheroes and villains here yourself! At 12nn, they have a superhero parade where you have 15 mins to mingle and take photos and ask for autographs from many of the well-known comic book heroes. We did that during our last trip, but for this time, we skipped it since the heat was already getting to us that we ended up jumping from one store to the other to cool our heads (literally) from the sun.
Back during the first time we visited Islands of Adventure, we had some pizza for lunch near the Spider-Man attraction. We were fortunate enough to be visited by Spider-Man himself during our pizza-binge back then when he dropped by our table during lunch, lol!
Wanna cool yourself off more than with just the regular store air conditioner? Toon Lagoon's your next stop! Every time I pass by this place, I always miss Kenny. All the comic doodles remind me so much of how his art style is, it's pretty cute! As much as I love this comic-y place, you gotta keep an eye out for water splashes and random water shooting out of places. This place is where the wet rides are located, so if you wanna get wet and wild, feel free to drop by this area for cool (no pun intended) water rides or you can wash up at random water sprouts here and there. It was getting so hot at this point that my family kept hopping from one shaded area to another while I bathed under the heat of the sun just to take photos. #dedication #igotsunburntforthis
Jurasic Park area, where every dinosaur lives in. Dino rides for kids and adults and a couple of restaurants and food stalls adorn this area. We didn't really stay long here (like, we literally just passed through here to get to the next area) since it was reaching 12nn already and the sun was starting to be scorching hot on our skins. Plus mom was getting hungry, and you wouldn't like her when she's starving hungry and irritated from the heat. #MotherHulkMode
We crossed a bridge that leads from Jurasic Park to Atlantis area where you can see the back part of Hogsmeade. See those umbrellas? That's actually the back of one of their restos.
Poseidon's Fury - Escape from the Lost City is one of those indoor attractions that you'd enjoy especially when you're trying to cool yourself down from the annoying summer heat. It's as simple as a walk-in attraction where they'd have an Indiana Jones like explorer who's looking for his professor but ends up waking up a the evils trapped inside the lost city.
Mythos sounds like a great place to eat which is located in the same area as Poseidon's Fury. If you love fine dining, this is definitely a place you should check out.
Here we are! Welcome indeed!
Mom was seriously hungry at this point, so we decided to eat the the Three Broomsticks resto for lunch. Please excuse the succeeding grainy photos. I was under strict use of one lens since we didn't have time to keep switching lenses while we were roaming around.
We got the Platter for Four of course. Boy was it soooo much more than we could handle~
They have Ollivanders wand shops in both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, but the spell-wand casting stuff can only be done in Diagon Alley (for now I hope).
BUTTERBEER, MY LOVE. You HAVE to try this magical (no pun intended) stuff out. In Hogsmeade, they sell Butterbeer by the streets in a street stand like this one, while in Diagon Alley, you can buy these in a shop.
This express train model was the idea for the actual train ride that you can go to to take you from park-to-park. Of course, you can only ride it if you have a park-to-park ticket.
They specifically check it at the entrance, so no one with a non park-to-park ticket can ride. #Privileges
The Hogsmeade station is really hot as it's set outdoors. When we were in line for this train ride, we waited for an hour in line, only to find out that the train had technical problems when we were already ready to ride. A lot of people got turned off and left, but we waited for around 20 mins till they managed to solve whatever problem they were experiencing.
"Mirror selfie" time while we waited for the gates to open.
We got on board and shortly after, the train departed. We sat in a cubicle like in the movies and saw that their doors and windows showed silhouettes and a short picture film of you traveling through the lands seen in the world of Harry Potter. This ride should have only lasted for 5 mins.
But after the reel ended, we all thought we finally reached Diagon Alley. However, one of the conductors opened our doors and said "We're experiencing some technical difficulties. We don't really know what the problem is but we haven't really left Hogsmeade." At first I thought "Oh, is this part of an act or something?" But after 5 mins of nothing happening, I was beginning to think there really was something wrong. When I looked out the window, he was right. We were literally just a few meters from Hogsmeade station. Not only that, because of the insane heat of the sun, thunder started to roar and rain was pouring over the park. After 15 mins hanging out in the cubicle with absolutely nothing to do, the train started to take us back to Hogsmeade station where we had to step out of the train so they can check what was wrong. We waited the thunder storm out since no ride is operational when this happens for safety reasons.
We waited for another 20 mins before they finally managed to fix whatever the problem was and boarded the train again. This time, they successfully brought us to Kings Cross Station in Diagon Alley.
Kings Cross is definitely better than Hogsmeade station since it's air conditioned. It's also roomier for people to wait in line in.
With all the time lost due to the technical difficulties of the train, mom wanted to forget about it with the help of some ice cream again, lol.
Mel's Drive-in photo that I took because last time we ate there, it was too dark to take photos of already, lol. Wished we had something like this back in Manila!
Final merchandise sightings on our way out of the park.
We didn't stay till late anymore since we've seen everything we wanted to see already, so we decided to head home by 7pm. Till next time Universal Studios theme park! I surely wish next time I visit, there wouldn't be any more technical difficulties, lol!
Till my next travel post!